High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

April 28, 2010

Chase Trip Day Four (Apr 27) Summary [21 images]

Filed under: Early Chase Trip 2010,Photography — Mike U @ 9:20 am

Landscape photography in the Nebraska Sand Hills.

I left Dodge City around 7:30am with the idea of some landscape photography around the sand hills of Nebraska later on in the afternoon and evening.  After a brief visit to the North Platte NWS forecast office and lunch, I made my way to Thedford.  After checking into the motel and about a 20-minute catnap, I began my little tour of southern Cherry County.  While Cherry County is loathed by storm chasers given the vast expanse of nothingness and a dearth for roads, it is quite scenic.  Rolling hills and ancient dunes of grass covered sand make up this landscape.  It is a very expansive ranching country and there are several very scenic unpaved and one-lane paved county roads.  I decided on a route that took me north from Seneca then west through ranchland to state highway 97.  I then proceeded back to the southeast on Brownlee road then back southeast on Seneca road completing a nearly 65-mile loop.  There were several large ponds of water with an assortment of waterfowl and other birds present.  I was surprised to find a couple of swans in one of the ponds.  I am not sure if they were Trumpeter or Tundra swans though, since they are so similar in appearance.  Countless windmills and cattle, of course, given the ranching land use, which made for good elements in a number of my images.  Scattered cirrus clouds also completed the composition on a number of images versus just an ordinary bland blue sky.

I was also scouting out some potential moonrise locations to shoot from.  I wanted to get a good telephoto (~400mm focal length) image of the moon rising with sand hills and/or a lone windmill in the distance for perspective.  What was troublesome, however, was that on the eastern horizon, the cirrus was thicker, and I wasn’t sure if that was going to ruin my moonrise opportunity or not.  Moonrise was 8:12pm, and the moon was about 97% full, rising just a little bit before the sun setting.  Sunset colors in the sky were not to be had, since the sun was setting behind thick cirrus to the west as well.  I was fairly bummed about that, and given my pessimism, I just totally abandoned the idea of a decent moonrise, and just resumed my trek back south to Seneca and highway 2.  Well, lo and behold, looking off to the east-southeast at about 8:20 was the big moon off the horizon.  Crap!  I was fortunate to be in a good spot, though, and I quickly pulled off and set up the tripod to get a few images of the moon with the sand hills (vertical compositions).  I then went on my merry way about another mile or so when I spotted a distant windmill which was almost perfectly located with the moon about 25 minutes after moonrise.  This was the first time I’ve ever set the tripod up on top of my jeep, because I needed to get a little more elevated since the top of the windmill was only barely clearing the horizon line.  It was just enough of an increase in height, shooting from atop my jeep, to get this shot of the moon and the windmill.. another vertical composition.  All in all, I was rather pleased with this 4 and a half hour shoot across southern Cherry County!

Begin:  Dodge City, KS
End: Thedford, NE
Day Four Mileage: 481 mi.
Trip Mileage: 1770 mi.

21 images from this day’s shoot:

This SimpleViewer gallery requires Macromedia Flash. Please open this post in your browser or get Macromedia Flash here.
This is a WPSimpleViewerGallery


  1. Very nice. May I suggest a little pub scenery. A nice pint with a little back lighting to highlight the beautiful malt color.

    Comment by Larry Cook — April 28, 2010 @ 9:25 am

  2. Well said! Photogenic AND tasty. Oh my. It’s in the cards… eventually before this trip ends!

    Comment by Mike U — April 28, 2010 @ 9:28 am

  3. Were you using the 400 double M for some of those?

    Comment by Poppy — April 28, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress